The highlight of every semester at Wildwood Center for Health Evangelism is campout. Twice a year students organize this weekend trip for in-class students, that connects those taking the course with each other, workers, and Mission Volunteers who come along. This year it was held in the beautiful Smokey Mountains.

When I thought of campout I was expecting a location somewhere in the middle of nowhere, which would be an utterly uncomfortable experience, with so few amenities. But when we got there, it was a pleasant surprise. The campsite was beautiful. We were surrounded by a river, other groups of campers, and a forest all around us. It was so much better than I had expected..

The first thing we saw when we got there was a small tent where Sabbath school was going to take place. It was so nice to anticipate spending Sabbath outside in the wilderness, and get completely disconnected from the outside world. One of the highlights of campout was divine service the next day. Instead of listening to a normal sermon, Dr. Esteban Arevalo, MD, shared his testimony. It was a story that reminded me so much of God’s love and the amazing things He does for us when we are truly faithful to Him. Dr. Esteban even gave us a handout with the key points of his testimony.

When this special moment was over, we got to eat and spend some time with our friends. The type of environment that we were in meant that we could truly connect with others. There were no distractions. We talked for hours. A hike soon followed. Since it was warm, we decided to rest our feet in the water a little bit, but that definitely was a mistake. It was ice cold! It was almost like a hydrotherapy treatment. It ended up being worth it though.

We closed the Sabbath with bonfire songs and marshmallows: the perfect combination. It was amazing to hear all of our voices combined in praise to God. Plus, we got to see elks run by the campsite.
Choosing to go to campout was the best decision I could have made. I can’t wait for next semester’s campout to come, so that we can do it all over again.